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Name: Spirit Monkey

Category: Monsters (more like pests, really), Pets

Type: Mammalians, Ethereal

Size: Medium

Region: Forest

Rarity: Common; Exotic pets

Lifespan: It has been suggested that spirit monkeys live forever, or until dispersed by sunlight. They've proven too mischievous to allow greater study, however, and no one has ever held one as a pet long enough for it to die, so who knows if the rumours of their immortality are true?

Appearance

Spirit monkeys are, as the name would suggest, small primates. Their long, skinny bodies are covered in short, dark taupe-grey fur that is luxuriously soft to the touch. Darker splodges vary in shape and size between individuals but standard markings include three broad rings around the base of the long, prehensile tail, two narrow rings around the tip of the same, and patches around the eyes. There is also a thick dark stripe along the spine from the base of the tail all the way to a dark half collar, and a lighter patch of fur at the belly.

Like Shadowkin, spirit monkeys have an affinity to Shadow that gives them the ability to become either semi- or fully incorporeal, which is where they get their name of "spirit". While semi-incorporeal, they appear to be slightly transparent and "mushy" to the touch. When fully incorporeal, however, they are barely visible and one's hand will pass right through when attempting to touch them.

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Behaviour

Spirit monkeys use their ability to become incorporeal to great advantage. It allows them to phase through solid objects and avoid predators with impunity, and so they have become a very mischievous species (if somewhat arrogant). Living together in groups of ten or twelve, they can cause a great deal of trouble for forest dwellers in their search for entertainment, and they are known to steal food even if there is plenty for them to forage.

Spirit monkeys are also fickle creatures, easily swayed to affection by bribes of food and toys but then quickly losing interest - and any loyalty they might have entertained - when they've grown bored. The only way to keep a pet happy is to keep a constant supply of toys that can be rotated frequently. Sadly, they're also known for running off back to the forest? so pets must also be kept on a leash.

Diet: They pick fruits and nuts out of the tree-tops, mostly, but are also often seen at ground-level foraging for foods that have already dropped from their branches. This is especially true of fruits they cannot normally eat due to a poisonous or tough outer shell, since they can simply pluck these from the forest floor once they've ripened and the shell has cracked.

Habitat: Spirit monkeys are found only in the forested regions west of the Dusky Mountains?. They are known as a Fae? creature, but have no qualms about moving through, or living in, the more dangerous Chandric Forest? as well.

Breeding: A female will mate with several males during mating season to be sure she'll bear young during birthing season three months later, then spend the next year carrying her young around while it learns to climb and forage for itself.

Spirit monkeys maintain close bonds with the rest of their family, most especially their bloodkin, through social grooming sessions.

Special Information

Strengths/Abilities:

  • Spirit monkeys can become semi- or fully incorporeal, allowing them to phase through solid objects and avoid predators.
  • With the use of their long (between eighteen and thirty inches) prehensile tail and dextrous feet, they essentially have the use of five hands and not just the two with the opposable thumbs.

Weaknesses:

  • They are given to great mischief, though this may not actually be a weakness as their ability to phase makes it difficult to punish their actions and they need not fear most predators.
  • As with shadowkin, spirit monkeys are averse to the light as it weakens the cohesion of their cells. This is especially true when they're incorporeal. The sunlight does not burn them as it does shadowkin, but intense or prolonged exposure will disperse their cells and ultimately kill them.
  • They are easily bored, and spend most of their time searching for entertainment.

Uses:

  • Spirit monkeys are sometimes trained and sold as pets, but they're notoriously difficult animals to keep happy (or at all, without the use of a leash to tie them down) so they're one of the rarer pets in Elysia?.

Origin:

Where did the creature come from? Did it evolve from another species, was it one of Xanth's experiments, or something else?

Other Info:

This is a space to include any further information you feel would be of interest.

Creator: Emma?

Creatures Monsters Pets Forest Mammalians Ethereal Medium Common Exotic pets